Artworks in the Collection

Milan KONJOVIĆ
HARVEST (1938)


In 1932, Konjović and his family, his wife Ema and his little daughter Veročka, returned from Paris to Sombor. “I reached such artistic freedom in Paris that the question arose: where next? And when I returned to Sombor, I found myself in different surroundings, instead of the blue mist of the Île-de-France, here I was surrounded by flaming wheat and sunflower fields and I had to start anew,” he stated in April 1984. The painting entitled Harvest is a prototype of his “red period” (1934–1939), painted in “a single go”, inspired by a real landscape which was transposed by the force of a great creative potential in the spirit of his artistic credo: “Create with your own vision, your own motifs, on your own soil.” The lower right part of the painting is dominated by two large stocks of sheaves, a motif which was a lasting inspiration to the artist with its dynamic bundling and archaic authenticity and was an important and indispensable element of his corn fields. “Later, when they were no more, I preferred to paint variations of my earlier paintings which inspired me to create new things,” Konjović used to say. In the middle distance, there are three human figures working, an extremely clear solution, and in the background, the darker horizontal band of foliage with the occasional house and the spires of Sombor has a somewhat calming effect on the composition, only to give way to the sky in the top part of the painting, tumultuous with forceful brushstrokes in a dramatic conflict of light and darkness. “I always gave myself to my work entirely. That is why I did not work every day. Only when I had a feeling here [pointing at his stomac], I had to be tense, and then I could work. That is why there are no bad paintings,” stated Konjović in the spring of 1991, looking at a reproduction of this painting. Beljanski bought the Harvest, as well as Old Porcelain and My Studio II from the painter in October 1945, when he organized an exhibition of his collection entitled Modern Yugoslav Painting in the Town Museum in Sombor, whose first manager was Konjović. The collection remained in Sombor until 1952.

Milan Konjović